This Blog

This is a blog to show off my needlework, mainly crazy quilting, beading and crochet. It makes me happy to create these things and even more happy to share the fun with friends. Pictures of my beading projects are at

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Design Breakthrough: Pink Garden Wallhanging

This design has been in my head for probably two years and I've been collecting things to use on it. It will be a wall hanging for the wall beside my big picture window where I have no drapes. I intend it to be "encrusted"  with 3-D pink flowers to blend colors with my sofa upholstery. I was having trouble with placing a garden path in the design. I couldn't find a route for it I liked. Here's the breakthrough: there will be no path! I like my vision of it now. I've pieced the background. It doesn't look very pink yet. Wait for the flowers.

The piece measures 24x48 inches. As I look at the picture. I see the background is skewed, but I think that will be corrected by the encrusting. The dark part on the upper right and top is mean to indicate a tree branch which will support dangling wisteria. The brown garden bed on the right is smocked, American style. That took a very long time to do. I used a pattern from Artistic Quiltmaker, 1999 by David K Small. (His books are self-published and are no longer in print as his interest has moved on to art quilting and drawing.) And, yes, the bottom of the Pink Garden is not straight. I intend to make a beaded fringe which will be longer on the left to make a straight bottom of the fringe.

I'm currently blessed with a snowstorm yesterday providing two days of free time during which I've made progress on some of the flowers. More on that later.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Happy New Year!

I can't believe I've been home five days already and we're four days into the new year and the new decade. I hope it's all good for you.

My holiday trip was a "go with the flow" experience. On the day after the big snow here in DC the Capitol Limited was four hours late out of the city because of frozen switches. It made up time and got me into Chicago in time to make my connection to the California Zephyr, but that too was late, two and a half hours, into Osceola, Iowa. Luckily, it was a window of opportunity for good road conditions. My sister and neice drove 70 miles from Ames to pick me up.

Then it was snow and ice off and on until it, luckily again was clear roads when I came back on the 29th. We were only able to gather about a third of the expected family for the celebration: those south and east of Ames. What with weather and stomach flu, I didn't see any of my little grand-neices and nephews while I was there. The youngest was aged seventeen. I did have a good time with those I did see, though.

Coming home was a bit of an ordeal. The California Zephyr was four hours late and didn't make it to Chicago for my connection. So they unloaded us at Galesburg, Illinois, (I found this photo by Stephen J. Brown online of the Zehpyr in Galesburg in a nicer season) and put us on a Trailways bus to Indianopolis, Indiana, to catch the Cardinal to DC. The bus was tight seating, they ran movies with no personal headphones so I had to block out the sound while reading and the only food was a brief stop at McDonald's during the six hour drive. Luckily I had a Zone bar in my purse. The Cardinal has a wonderful scenic route through the New River valley in West Virginia. This picture was taken at Thurmond, West Virginia, through a dirty window. I somehow didn't get a picture of the actual river, which is renowned for white-water rafting. I enjoyed  the scenery, but didn't enjoy trying to sleep in coach because there were no available sleepers on the train. I got home at 9:30 pm on the 30th instead of 1:00 pm as scheduled.

I hope this story doesn't discourage anyone from train travel. It would have been much worse to be stranded in an airport or trying to drive through all that.

I always take needlework with me. This time I finished a crocheted toy train engine for my great-grand nephew Sam. Isn't it something that steam engines are still popular toys and stories fifty years after they were replaced by diesel! A diesel engine just doesn't have the same character. I used a free pattern from Irka in Argentina.